Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Review
Regular pictures taken on the front-facing camera come out generally well-exposed, with good detail. Selective focus works well here too, though the sensors strength in properly exposing and focusing an entire shot is also readily apparent.
The rear-facing camera is an excellent low-light performer, catching details equal to the best in the biz, and exceeding them in pulling out accurate, vibrant colors from the shadows. While not the absolute best in toning down hotspots within scenes containing light and dark areas – the iPhone 7 seems to beat it there – the S8 Active may take the crown (or rather share it with its Galaxy brethren) for capturing color in low-light and maintaining sharp details with little noise throughout. For our money, we’d rather have a couple slight hotspots than an entire area of color-less darkness.
Dual-pixel produces the same exquisite results in focusing real-time video. If you’ve never seen it in action, please make sure to check the sample video to see its great capability, as it focuses objects instantaneously. Optical image stabilization also makes it mark here, keeping videos smooth and balanced, , though it does suffer from a bit of shutter-roll, as well as a peculiar image wobble at the end of pans. Video quality, much like image quality, is also quite good here. Details are crisp, movement looks good, and colors are generally well-represented.
By now we’re all aware of the growing pains encountered with the proliferation of extra-tall “bezel-less” displays. To recap, these taller displays present an issue for video formatting due to their awkward aspect ratios. This leads to situations where videos are cropped, stretched, or letterboxed to accommodate these displays. In the instance of the Galaxy S8 Active, the aspect ratio is 18.5x9 – the same as the original S8 – and all of the above methods are incorporated to remedy this. Videos produced in a 2:1 ratio are your best friend here, but even those will leave you with black bars on the top and bottom, though not on the sides. This is simply the price to pay for such tall screens. YouTube, at least, has begun auto-fitting compatible 2:1 videos to your screen, but content in this format is still very sparse.
Listening to music on the Active will be a better experience than on most phones. The loudspeaker is not only loud, but also fuller and less tinny than comparable flagships. Samsung’s typically excel in this area, and thankfully the S8 Active continues in this tradition.
Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 Active 0.76
Samsung Galaxy S8 0.75
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active 0.67
LG G6 0.78
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 Active 75.5
Samsung Galaxy S8 78
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active 75.7
LG G6 74
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- Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
- Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
- Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
- Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
- Battery 4000 mAh(32h talk time)